Commuting is hard. Whether you’ve chosen to commute so you can afford a bigger house or to be closer to family, or like me you lost your closer-to-home job and it was the only option, it takes its toll.
These days in my new(ish) job I travel 80km each way to work. This for me is a huge improvement as the 90km commute I used to do took about 40 minutes longer EACH WAY. I don’t know myself.
People often ask me about the commute and how I manage it so here goes (also all my secrets are in blog post here.
How to make your commute easier
1. Ask about working from home sometimes. Even if it seems unlikely ask. (This bviously works better for office jobs than if you’re a nurse or a teacher whose role is defined by being there, but works well for most office jobs)
2. Go in early or stay back late. Travelling off-peak saves time. I’ve friends who go in early and go for a run or do a yoga class before they start work. Someday I might be that person but these days I really do just enjoy the extra half hour in bed in the morning.
3. If you’re in the habit of going in earlier than you officially start ask about changing your working hours to incorporate the early start so you get home early too.
4. A travel mug of tea (my preference) or coffee in the morning is a must in the winter.
5. And an ice-scraper. Put that kettle away, or use it for the tea not the windscreen.
6. Always have water in the car. Driving is thirsty work.
7. Ask about working from home sometimes again.
8. Forsake the heels while driving, wear runners in the car but don’t forget those shoes for work. (Like I often do). Your back will thank you.
9. Always have snacks in the car. Driving is hungry work. (See 6 above). If you’re cranky from being stuck in traffic something to munch on might keep the rage away. Granola bars are a good choice.
10. Watch the fuel light. Check your fuel light on the way home every day. Needing to fill the tank uses valuable “beat the traffic” time in the morning.
11. Listen to audio books (I’ve been known to go to the car at lunchtime for cliffhangers at vital parts). Audiobooks are expensive to buy but check out your local library. Podcasts are great too or download the Borrowbox app and access them with your local library card. Recommended audiobooks: Gillespie and I; Possession by AS Byatt, the Future Homemakers of America.
12. If you have hands free in your car catch up on phonecalls on the way home, I phone my Mam most days.
13. Keep car time at the weekend to a minimum.
14. Buy a lotto ticket and end your commuting days. That’s my plan anyway.
If you’re interested in me talking about commuting check out my interview with the Irish Independent here.